The World Series starts with only one promise: That will produce a winner. That won’t convince us convincing stories, even though they are told often. That will not guarantee seven nights of entertainment, even though we are often blessed. There is no promise that we will remember more than one or two things about it 20 years later, but some produce dozens of unforgettable details.
In other words, some World Series are better than others. The last major league match to be counted is the last match of the 2019 World Series, the 115 that has ever been played. This is the 115th place. It was based on … well, in the end, it was based on the opinion of one writer. But there are four main factors that we rely on:
1. The game’s leverage index, in Baseball-Reference, which measures how close the game is to each game and how likely the next game is to shift the chances of each team to win. A game that is close to nine innings and won with a walk-off in 10th will judge far better than the one where a team jumps ahead early and runs away with it.
2. Championship leverage index, at The Baseball Gauge. This is similar to game leverage, except it includes how close the series itself is. Series seven matches will be rated far better than a sweep.
3. How impressive the series. The 1988 World Series is not very close, but results in an instant withdrawal for just one innings.
4. How important is history, and how satisfying history is.
We will rank each World Series in the first two categories. The last two are subjective, so we will only describe them as best we can.
That was over before they started
115. 1919: Reds over the White Sox in eight games (best of nine)
Ranking ranking series: 104
Game leverage rating: 102
Cheated by eight White Sox players who have been paid to lose, and the match isn’t even close. Pity the Reds, who might win too, but are never satisfied because they know.
114. 1989: A surpassed the Giants in four
Leverage Series: 115th
Leverage the game: 115th
Not only did the Giants never lead. It’s that they managed to end just two innings in the series even bound. Also, the deadly earthquake split it into two parts, and when the game continued (against objections from some civil leaders) we were still afraid the ground would shake.
113. 2007: Red Sox over the Rockies in four
Leverage Series: 109th
Leverage the game: 99th
Game 3 takes 4 hours 19 minutes for no apparent reason except “Red Sox.” This is still the longest nine innings game in Series history.
112. 1937: Yankees over the Giants in five
Leverage Series: 104
Leverage the game: 102
The repetition of the 1936 World Series match is not too close. Not close enough.
111. 2012: Giants above the Tigers in four
Leverage Series: 110th
Leverage the game: 64th
History flatters narratives, so we remember this only as part of the Giants mini-dynasty. But for each of the Giants, the years from 2010 to 2014 contain a wide, full of bows. Barry Zito, Giants highest paid player, did not appear in the 2010 World Series but won Game 1 in 2012; Pablo Sandoval was paired for the 2010 Series, but he won the MVP in 2012; and Team Lincecum’s career collapsed, and he won’t appear in 2014, but he starred as ace multi-inning relief in 2012.
110. 1939: Yankees over the Reds in four
Leverage Series: 111th
Leverage the game: 41st
The winning run in Game 4 came on Joe DiMaggio’s extra-inning single. When the Reds outfielder played it wrong, the second match drove home. Catcher Ernie Lombardi dropped the throw, then “crouched on the ground, it seems to contemplate the vanity of it all, “like DiMaggio self ran home and scored for the Little League homer.
109. 2008: Phillies over Rays in five
Leverage Series: 70th
Leverage the game: 39
The best game in the series – Game 3 – starts 90 minutes late due to rain, and doesn’t end until almost 2 in the morning. The next best game in the series – Tense Game 5 – is interrupted by rain, and then snow, and ends with two-day weather delay in the sixth innings. In addition, it is played with general disadvantage.
108. 1976: Reds over the Yankees in four
Leverage Series: 100th
Leverage the game: 55th
“I want to sweep so that this team can be judged by the great teams where they came from,” said Reds manager Sparky Anderson, and it worked. Yankees manager, Billy Martin was issued late in the last game for throwing the ball at the referee.
107. 1966: Orioles is more than Dodgers in four
Leverage Series: 103rd
Leverage the game: 79th
The Orioles scored three runs at the top of Game 1’s first innings, then held the Dodgers for two runs throughout the series.
106. 1905: Giants over A in four
Leverage Series: 81st
Leverage the game: 65th
The world is not yet convinced that this is the Serinya. The AL banner was almost won by the White Sox, whose owner vowed not to participate – just as the Giants had missed it in 1904, calling it a mere exhibition. That raises the possibility that the Navy will send second place teams instead. Athletics pull banners, save us from the timeline, but A star Rube Waddell doesn’t throw, for reasons that are still unclear. One of the accusations was that Waddell had been bribed to miss it.
105. 1920: Indians above Brooklyn Robins in seven (best of nine)
Leverage Series: 95th
Leverage the game: 105
Cleveland could be said to have succeeded only because the White Sox lost its best player due to the end of season suspension, when the Black Sox scandal broke. Brooklyn thrower Rube Marquard was arrested for stealing tickets to a police detective.
104. 1990: Reds over A in four
Leverage Series: 97
Leverage the game: 67th
Two matches are close, but not a close draw – at least until Game 4, when the Reds lose their two best players due to injury at the end of the season at the start of the match and A’s return seems, if not possible, to suddenly make sense. But the biggest prize that this Series gave us was the answer to a pretty good trivia question years later: Who is the only thrower who wins the game after getting the Hall of Fame vote? It was Jose Rijo, whose MVP appearance in the 1990 World Series – including the 8⅓ sterling innings in Game 4 mentioned earlier – perhaps who gave him one vote at the 2000 ballot. (After many attempts to return from injury, Rijo finally became healthy enough to “recovered” in 2001. He didn’t win – or lose – any game in ’01, but he played 5-4 in ’02.)
103. 2010: Giants over Rangers in five
Leverage Series: 102
Leverage the game: 106th
In Game 2 being tied up, Rangers’ Ian Kinsler crashed into one of the very top of the padded middle field wall, and physics makes it fail: The ball somehow stops progressing forward and bounces back to double, not homer. The Giants won 9-0. Baseball is an inch game and a blast game.
102. 1908: Cubs over Tigers in five
Leverage Series: 91
Leverage the game: 68th
The National League produces the biggest banner race ever, limited by craziest day of baseball, and then the Cubs went up to Detroit to face the much lower Navy team they had swept the year before. Like watching Superman defeat Lex Luthor in Round 2, then spend Round 3 investigating agribusiness pricing – very anticlimactic.
101. 1961: Yankees over the Reds in five
Leverage Series: 93
Leverage the game: 104
The Yankees’ 12th series in 15 years, and his routine shows: Mickey Mantle took off his clothes and left the stadium before it was finished, and Roger Maris declined the interview. “I’m in a hurry, son,” Maris told reporters. “Parties mean nothing to me.”
100. 2006: Cardinal of a Tiger in five
Leverage Series: 85
Leverage the game: 70th
The biggest hit in this series, by Championship Win Probability Added (cWPA), is David Eckstein’s double tiebreak in Game 4 – only 447th biggest drama in the history of the Series. The 83-Cardinals win, by that measure, the worst champion ever.
99. 1998: Yankees over Padres in four
Leverage Series: 99th
Leverage the game: 60th
The Yankees won 114 regular-season matches, the third most, and when the World Series began, it was agreed that they needed to defeat the Padres so they could secure the club’s legacy as the best team ever in an inner circle of all time. But in the middle of the series, it was agreed that to prove something they not only had to win but destroy the Padres. And so they did. The Yankees ended with a record of 125 wins that year and the winning percentage (including postseason games) was just behind the 1927 Yankees and the 1909 Pirates. I personally put them maybe fifth in the GOAT conversation, but other smart people could put them first.
Bad series with great players
98. 1938: Yankees over the Cubs in four
Leverage Series: 98th
Leverage the game: 62
Lou Gehrig is dying, but no one knows. He only knew he was tired. He chooses in each game what will be his last World Series.
97. 1951: Giants over the Yankees in six
Leverage Series: 66th
Leverage the game: 98th
Series between beginners Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle: What could be wrong? Mays hit 0.182 without extra-base hits. Mantle caught his cleat on the cover of the drain, collapsed as if shot, and played in pain throughout his career.
96. 1913: A surpassed the Giants in five
Leverage Series: 89th
Leverage the game: 71st
In Game 2, Christy Mathewson shuts down to the bottom of the ninth, the score is tied. He escaped the inevitable traffic jam – runners in second and third without anyone leaving, after a teammate’s mistake – then chose to return home as the 10th winner. It is bound to the highest WPA in the postseason game: 1.0.
95. 1970: Orioles more than Red in five
Leverage Series: 101st
Leverage the game: 76th
Brooks Robinson’s defense at third base won it. “The unhappy Reds pilot, Sparky Anderson, kept shaking his head and muttering, ‘He’s the whole series so far,'” The New Yorker reported.
94. 1930: A surpasses the Cardinals in six
Leverage Series: 80th
Leverage the game: 92nd
Game 5: Lefty Grove, the best pitcher in the world, comes to release starter George Earnshaw in the eighth innings of a goalless game. Grove, who had played the full game the day before, threw eighth without a goal, then Jimmie Foxx scored at the ninth peak, and Grove threw down without the ninth to win.
93. 1967: Cardinal over the Red Sox in seven
Leverage Series: 62
Leverage the game: 109th
Bob Gibson made three starts: three complete matches, three runs allowed, three wins. This is not The World Series that he remembers the most!
92. 1963: Dodgers over Yankees in four
Leverage Series: 112th
Leverage the game: 103rd
Sandy Koufax made two starters, two complete matches, one with a record of 15 Ks. This is not The World Series that he remembers the most!
91. 2009: Yankees over the Phillies in six
Leverage Series: 92nd
Leverage the game: 95th
The Yankees won their 27th title and ended Pedro Martinez’s career. Martinez, after a terrible 2008 season with the Mets, has signed a one-year contract with the Phillies in July. He was quite good at stretching, then dominant in his one NLCS starting – revived and refreshed, if not the greatest of all time. But in Game 6, the Yankees dropped it after four innings, four run ins, for their second loss. He reaches a speed of 84 mph. After the match, he tried to avoid reporters, but they found and surrounded him with an elevator “while a random Yankees fan – who somehow escaped the security notice – shouted at him at the reporter’s question,” Amy K. Nelson writes. “If this is Martinez’s way out of baseball, it will be an unfavorable end for one of the best pitchers to play the game.” Indeed, but maybe that’s the right end. Pedro is one of the greatest of all time, no one denies that. He has some of the biggest moments against the Yankees, but almost all of the worst too. He acknowledged that, even having fun with it. End his career with “random Yankees fans” shouting “Who is your father” at him – it’s sad or perfect.
90. 1977: Yankees over the Dodgers in seven
Leverage Series: 86
Leverage the game: 90th
“It all flowed from me,” Reggie Jackson said that summer. “I’m a straw that stirs drinks.” Manager Billy Martin hates him because of that – they almost exploded in the dugout shortly after – but then Jackson supports it: Five homers in the series, three in Clinching Game 6.
A good series where there is something new die
89. 1910: A more than Cubs in five
Leverage Series: 105
Leverage the game: 75th
The league chose the World Series, of all time, to introduce a new, more lively baseball, and the results were immediate: The score changed from 3.8 runs / games in the regular season to 5.0 in the World Series (and 4.5 in 1911). Baseball needs a change, maybe, but using the World Series to run an experiment – it would be like if Rob Manfred had declared the league switched to the robo strike zone before Gerrit Cole threw the first pitch last October.
88. 1944: Cardinal over St. Louis Browns in six
Leverage Series: 48th
Leverage the game: 48th
87. 1943: Yankees over the Cardinals in five
Leverage Series: 49th
Leverage the game: 24
86. 1945: Tigers over Cubs in seven
Leverage Series: 30th
Leverage the game: 97
This champion is, officially, the canon, but in the third season the talent in the league runs out. At the end of World War II, around 500 major leagues have served – in a league with 400 active players at a certain time – and his position is strange. The Browns, The worst major league franchise for baseball, won their only banner in 1944, and the dysfunctional Cubs somehow won in 1945. That said, the three series were competitive and attended by many people, and at that time the population was grateful that baseball had found a way (at the president’s request) to keep playing.
The 1945 series is where we get the Curse of the Cubs of the Billy Goat. Local tavern owner Billy Sianis is ejected from the stadium with his smelly wet goat. Sianist cursed the team, according to legend which was not really made until Sianis died in 1970. It was only after the Cubs collapsed into the Mets in 1969, and as a vanity narrative the Cubs only began to take on national momentum, and when the odd 1945 World Series maybe one with the other.
85. 1903: Boston United is more than the Pirates in eight (best of nine)
Leverage Series: 94
Leverage the game: 112th
It is undeniably successful, with a large attendance rate that provides enough momentum to repeat the event in 1905 and become something. There were 17 triple ground rules, 33 errors and Deacon Phillippe threw five complete matches.
84. 1983: Orioles is more than the Phillies in five
Leverage Series: 74th
Leverage the game: 58th
When Game 1’s eighth innings approached, the score was 1-1. President Ronald Reagan was preparing to leave the ballpark, and he conducted a brief interview on broadcast with Howard Cosell.
Orioles’ beginner, Scott McGregor had warmed up for the eighth when an ABC crew motioned for him to wait. He does. When he is given the chance to take the throw, his first throw is a quick throw that isn’t right so Garry Maddox succeeds. Score 2-1 survive. “There is a certain flow to the game,” Said McGregor. “I told the man not to do it to me anymore. I said, ‘Sell your Datsun another way.'”
Then the Orioles won four times in a row, including three wins that came from behind, to take the so-called Series I-95. The 1980s were filled with the dubbed Series. Brewers and Cardinals play the Suds Series, Giants and A play the Battle of the Bay, the Cardinals and Royals play the I-70 Series, and the Dodgers and A series are called, I swear, the Fog to Smog Series.
83. 1985: Royals over the Cardinals in seven
Leverage Series: 42nd
Leverage the game: 69th
Before Game 6, this game would be “boring but fast,” in the New York Times description of it. Whether what happens next must move higher or lower on this list is a matter of personal philosophy.
The Cardinals climbed three games to two in the sixth game, and rose 1-0 at the bottom of the ninth in the sixth game. (MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth actually cut the Royals ‘dugout around this time so he would be in place to present the World Series trophy to the Cardinals. The Royals players must have noticed this. “That boosted us,” said a Royal.) Royals’ Jorge Orta led the innings and landed on the first base. The pitch to the Cardinals pitcher, Tim Worrell, who covered the bag was clearly timely, but first-time referee Don Denkinger called it safe. Worrell pointed at the bag to insist he marked it with his feet. Denkinger said Orta only defeated Worrell.
From there, the Royals rallied, while Denkinger – afraid he might miss the call – was quietly rooting for the Cardinals to take the lead and make his calls moot. Cardinal manager Whitey Herzog grumbled to reporters after the match: “The two best teams should be in the World Series. They must also have the best referees in them. I think this is embarrassing. It’s a joke. It’s a joke. We haven’t gotten one phone call from three American League referees. for that matter. Do you want my opinion? Smell. “He noted, with a final feeling of fatalism, that Denkinger would be the main referee for Game 7.” We have the chance to win as many monkeys. “
They lost that one 11-0.
Denkinger’s missed call will be the most famous missed call in baseball history for about 25 years, until Jim Joyce missed a similar call on what would be the final of Armando Galarraga’s perfect match. There are two big differences in the fall of two missed calls:
While sports and Galarraga himself largely united to support Joyce – the referee with an extraordinary reputation who tearfully expressed regret for his missed call – Denkinger was vilified. Herzog and pitcher Joaquin Andujar were both excluded for arguing with him the following day, and Herzog’s quote above not only gave him the advantage of doubt but also implied an actual bias. Disc Jockey Louis revealed his telephone number and home address, and he got hate letters and death threats, some of which were investigated by the FBI, some of which instigated police protection. In the years that followed, the Cardinals continued to say they have been “rigged” from the title, and it took a decade for Herzog and the Cardinals to openly softened towards him.
While Joyce’s missed call causes more vocal calls for instant playback in the game – to protect players like Galarraga, and to protect referees like Joyce – Herzog refuses to make the same case after Denkinger’s mistake. When, when his words were harsh towards bad referees, Herzog was asked whether the league should use replays to play close, he first replied that “they are better off using something.” He quickly retreated: “No, they can’t use instant replays on games like that. It took four hours to decide.” It took 30 years before a phone like Denkinger would be reviewed, something Said Denkinger in 2010 he will thank you.
82. 1997: Marlins are more than Indians in seven
Leverage Series: Ninth
Leverage the game: 53
A fantastic series at the time, but the wrong team won. We were somewhat aware of that at the time: The Marlins were pop-up challengers built on free agents, the club owner immediately denied, while Cleveland, with the city-wide sports championship ending in drought, was an excellent story that had changed from the punchline. from the “Major League” to a truly original powerhouse. But after the Marlins won, and then exchanged all their good players for a surprising fire sale, they became a handicap that cannot be described in the history of baseball.
81. 1959: Dodgers over White Sox in six
Leverage Series: 67th
Leverage the game: 85
The Dodgers attract 92,000 fans in each of their three home matches. The awkward dimensions of the Los Angeles Coliseum helped start a tradition of fans carrying transistor radios with him, filling the stadium with the voice of Vin Scully.
80. 1906: White Sox more than Cubs in six
Leverage Series: 50th
Leverage the game: 83rd
The 1906 Cubs are one of two teams that won a record 116 matches in one season, but like the 2001 Mariners, the historic regular season preceded the post-season defeat.
79. 1914: Braves over A in four
Leverage Series: 87th
Leverage the game: 16th
“Miracle Braves” came last in July but roared back, then swept the Athletics that was very popular. A’s owner, Connie Mack, basically throws, sells many of his best players, and his team drops to 43-109 in 1915.
78. 1918: Red Sox over Cubs in six
Leverage Series: 38
Leverage the game: 22nd
Almost certainly the 1919 World Series was not the only one that was “thrown” by players who tried to lose. Sean Deveney’s book “The Original Curse” argues that the 1918 Cubs may have overtaken their crosstown rivals into corruption.
77. 1922: Giants against the Yankees in five (one match tied)
Leverage Series: 78
Leverage the game: 8
Game 2 has, according to the New York Times’ said, “the most dramatic ending ever had in every game series in the world,” and it was frustrating even 100 years later: The referee called it darkness at 4:45 pm. with scores tied to the 10th and, according to the audience, the sun rises. The players are “struck by lightning,” the crowd “confused.” Thousands of commissioners deployed and shouted corruption allegations, claiming baseball wanted the gate reception the other day. The league quelled anger by donating ticket sales to veteran charities.
76. 1948: Indians are more than Braves in six
Leverage Series: 41st
Leverage the game: 36th
It is almost certain that the 2017 World Series is not the only one that is tampered with by players who steal marks using illegal technology or personnel. If you had to choose another team to go crazy, maybe it was the 1948 Cleveland Club. According to Paul Dickson’s “The Hidden Language of Baseball”, “Cleveland that year” used a telescope that Bob Feller used as a cannon officer during World War II. The telescope was mounted on a tripod, placed on the Cleveland scoreboard, and operated alternately. by Feller or Bob Lemon, who remembers that he can ‘see dirt under the catcher’s nails.’ They will call the next field to the field guard, who will then use another gap in the scoreboard to convey the signs to the Cleveland hitters. “
A group of Yankees wins
75. 1953: Yankees over the Dodgers in six
Leverage Series: 76th
Leverage the game: 74th
Over a 10-year period, the Yankees and Dodgers faced off in the World Series six times. In good times, the repetition adds weight and history: World Series of World Series! However, in smaller moments – well, how often do you listen to the sixth best album by any band? This, the fourth in the order, is the most forgotten of the six. But that was Vin Scully’s first broadcast.
74. 1927: Yankees over the Pirates in four
Leverage Series: 96
Leverage the game: 35th
If this series is the best of 99, the Yankees will win at 50. The only surprise is the disappointing ending: Babe Ruth has the chance to end it with a walk-off, but a wild field opens the first base and she deliberately walks. Then Lou Gehrig had the chance to end it with a walk-off but attacked. Instead of the moment of signing in one of the great careers of all time, the Yankees won on … another wild court.
73. 1949: Yankees over Dodgers in five
Leverage Series: 65th
Leverage the game: 44th
Tommy Henrich hit the first homer walk-off in the World Series game. You can watch it, and hear calls by Red Barber, and admire how lackluster they were. Barber barely raised his voice. Henrich just smiled. “Look at him grin,” Barber said, “as big as a piece of watermelon.” He shakes hands.
72. 1999: Yankees more than Braves in four
Leverage Series: 107
Leverage the game: 100th
The 1998 Yankees won 16 more matches than these Yankees, and the ’98ers are the club that is most remembered from the years of the modern dynasty. But the Yankees’ postseason run was even more impressive: They went 11-1 in three playoff rounds, outscoring their opponents with 70-19 combined. Their Atlanta strokes are in a different category than their 1998 San Diego sweep: The Braves, unlike Padres, their all-time great team, 103 of their victories mark a third consecutive third season in more than 100. In the year of teams throughout the century, ranks throughout century, memories throughout the centuries, when culture looked back to 100 years before and reassessed what historians would keep from them, this sweep was a fitting end to this century: The Yankees won eight World Series by sweeping in the 1900s. Only one other team won eight World Series altogether.
71. 1978: Yankees over the Dodgers in six
Leverage Series: 54th
Leverage the game: 66th
21-year-old Rookie Bob Welch was ordered to protect the lead of one round in Game 2, which required him to face Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson, with two opponents and one barrel in ninth place. Jackson makes Welch throw nine throws before attacking. Three days later, on the 10th, Welch accepted the loss. Changing game.
Short but easy to remember
70. 2004: Red Sox over Cardinals in four
Leverage Series: 106th
Leverage the game: 89th
This is one of the most memorable Series in the last 50 years – except that what you really remember is the ALCS between the Red Sox and the Yankees. The World Series itself is useless, but it gets credit for what it is, and for Joe Buck’s poignant description: “It’s been 86 years. Generations have come and gone.” The second sentence is cut off.
69. 1984: Tigers over Padres in five
Leverage Series: 90th
Leverage the game: 84th
Like the rest of the Tiger season – early 35-5, wire to wire in the first place, a sweep of the ALCS – it doesn’t close at all. But despite the pleasure of seeing a great team dominating, there is a sequence in Game 5 which was one of the best in October: Goose Gossage, who was ordered to deliberately invite Kirk Gibson, to talk to his manager about it. Then Gibson returned home to get rid of the series, arms raised as he rounded the base. Very delicious.
68. 2018: Red Sox over Dodgers in five
Leverage Series: 72nd
Leverage the game: 17th
The Red Sox won most of the matches. The Dodgers won the best: 18-inning Game 3 which took more than seven hours to play.
67. 1917: White Sox over Giants in six
Leverage Series: 52nd
Leverage the game: 73rd
In 4:10 in this video, You can see an interesting recording of Benny Kauff racing to run home-the-park in Game 4, as the old men waved their hats and kicked the air. Kauff was later banned from baseball because of car theft.
66. 1907: Cubs over Tigers in five (one tie)
Leverage Series: 77th
Leverage the game: 23rd
Ty Cobb berusia 20 tahun dan baru saja memenangkan gelar batting, tetapi Cubs menutupnya. Persentase kemenangan 0,704 mereka di musim reguler adalah yang tertinggi ketujuh sepanjang masa.
65. 1942: Kardinal atas Yankees dalam lima
Leverage seri: Ke-82
Leverage permainan: Ke-40
Sebelum Game 5, Yankees mencoba untuk mengocok Cardinals dengan menuntut agar manajer peralatan Card ‘dilarang masuk ruang istirahat. Wasit menyetujui, tetapi itu hanya membuat para Cardinals marah: kapten tim Terry Moore menyatakan, kepada seorang pelatih Yankees, “Ini hanya satu lagi alasan mengapa tidak ada hari esok di Seri Dunia ini.” Dia benar, ketika Cardinals mematahkan dasi inning kesembilan dengan homer dua-lari untuk menang.
64. 1974: A lebih dari Dodgers dalam lima
Leverage seri: Ke-61
Leverage permainan: Tanggal 31
Eksperimen Herb Washington – menandatangani pelari kompetisi elit untuk tidak melakukan apa pun kecuali lari cepat – sangat menyenangkan dalam teori, menekan dalam praktik, ketika Washington berjuang untuk belajar dan rekan-rekan setimnya mencengkeram. Itu memukul nadir di Game 2: Dia masuk sebagai potensi mengikat menjalankan dengan satu. Pitcher Dodgers, Mike Marshall, mundur tiga kali dan Washington berlari mundur tiga kali, dan pada langkah keempat ia dikeluarkan. Dia meninju tanah dengan frustrasi, mungkin memalukan, tahu dia harus menghadapi rekan setimnya lagi. Anda merasakan keputusasaan seseorang yang berusaha dengan sungguh-sungguh untuk melakukan sesuatu yang terlalu sulit.
63. 2013: Red Sox over Cardinals dalam enam
Leverage seri: 39
Leverage permainan: Ke-57
Red Sox telah memenangkan empat gelar abad ini, tetapi klub khusus ini cocok dengan garis canggung: The Sox memenangkan 69 pertandingan (dan selesai terakhir) tahun sebelumnya, memenangkan 71 pertandingan (dan selesai terakhir) tahun berikutnya, tetapi selama satu tahun semuanya rusak. Mereka telah menandatangani banyak agen gratis untuk kontrak jangka pendek, dan ketika penandatanganan itu terbayar – Koji Uehara, Jonny Gomes, David Ross, Mike Napoli, dll – kantor depan “sangat dekat sama terkejutnya seperti para penggemar , “Tulis Alex Speier dalam Baseball Prospectus Annual. Masalah dengan penawaran jangka pendek: Jika para pemain itu bekerja dengan sempurna, Anda harus menggantinya tahun depan. Pemerintahan pop-up Boston singkat.
Di mana ia cocok dengan garis keturunan Red Sox abad ke-21 ada di sini: David Ortiz memiliki seri postseason terbaiknya. Dia berperang 25 kali dan hanya membuat enam beluk – dan salah satunya adalah lalat pengorbanan. (Dalam hal ini, yang lain adalah groundout yang memindahkan pelari ke posisi ketiga.) 0,760 OBP-nya adalah yang tertinggi kedua dalam sejarah Seri Dunia. Ortiz, dalam karirnya, memiliki WPA terbanyak sebagai pemukul dalam sejarah postseason, dan saat momen menentukan, tidak ada yang unggul Cop Bullpen dari seminggu sebelumnya. Tapi seluruh seri ini hampir berakhir.
62. 1911: A lebih dari Giants dalam enam
Leverage seri: Ke-63
Leverage permainan: Ke-37
Sebuah pertandingan ulang dari seri 1905 – Connie Mack mengelola melawan John McGraw – tetapi sekarang World Series adalah kekuatan pembuatan mitos. Frank Baker bermain di Game 2 dan 3. Itu membuatnya mendapat julukan “Home Run” Baker, dan 109 tahun kemudian setiap penggemar baseball tahu nama itu, jika bukan total karir home run (96).
61. 1933: Raksasa di atas Senator Washington dalam lima
Leverage seri: Ke-71
Leverage permainan: Ke-18
Dari 60 permainan terbesar dalam sejarah bisbol – oleh cWPA – 56 adalah pemukul melakukan pukulan yang baik. It’s a lot easier to dramatically change the state of the game with a homer than an out. But at No. 60 is one of the exceptions. Carl Hubbell had a one-run lead in the bottom of the 11th inning in Game 4. Bases loaded, one out and the Giants gambling by playing the infield back. Hubbell got the game-ending double play.
Long but forgettable
60. 1982: Cardinals over Brewers in seven
Series leverage: 25th
Game leverage: 93rd
On paper, this should have been a great clash between wildly different offensive styles. The Brewers — “Harvey’s Wallbangers” — hit 30 more homers than any other team in baseball that year. A New York Times preview called them the deepest nine-man lineup in World Series history. The Cardinals, meanwhile, hit just 67 homers as a team, barely more homers than they hit triples, while stealing 200 bags. Then the Cardinals outslugged the Brewers. The series gets points for going to Game 7 but loses them for the brutally dull Game 6 that preceded it: Nearly three hours of rain delays interrupted a 13-1 Cardinals victory.
59. 1921: Giants over Yankees in eight (best of nine)
Series Leverage: 53rd
Game leverage: 34th
The first World Series on the radio, the first with the Yankees. Also Babe Ruth’s first as an outfielder, but he was ailing and only intermittently available. He hit his first postseason homer in Game 4 but grounded out as a pinch hitter — representing the tying run — in the ninth inning of the clinching Game 8.
58. 2003: Marlins over Yankees in six
Series leverage: 35th
Game leverage: 30th
Few things are better than a young star’s superstardom manifesting itself in the middle of a World Series, and Josh Beckett — ahead of 2002 Francisco Rodriguez, 1996 Andruw Jones and 2019 Juan Soto — might be the best modern example. His 1-0 shutout of the Yankees in New York in the clinching Game 6 is the greatest World Series start in at least 50 years by a pitcher 23 or younger.
57. 1940: Reds over Tigers in seven
Series leverage: 33rd
Game leverage: 107th
The Tigers, afraid of detection, abandoned an elaborate binoculars-and-relay sign-stealing scheme for the World Series. But Tiger Birdie Tebbetts still claimed they “knew every pitch the Reds’ pitchers were going to throw. Catcher Jimmy Wilson was giving away the pitches by twitching his forearm muscles when he called a curve.” They still lost.
56. 1987: Twins over Cardinals in seven
Series leverage: 22nd
Game leverage: 91st
The home team won every game in this series, a fitting conclusion to a season in which the Twins went 56-25 at home (a .691 winning percentage) and 29-52 on the road (.358). “I don’t mind losing the seventh game of the World Series,” Whitey Herzog said, but you can choose not to believe him. “If I can do that for the rest of my life, I’ll be satisfied.”
55. 1909: Pirates over Tigers in seven
Series leverage: 36th
Game leverage: 108th
The first World Series to go the full seven games — but then the final game was a blowout. The great Honus Wagner had been the goat in 1903, but this time — his only other postseason appearance — he hit .333/.467/.500 and stole six bases.
54. 1957: Braves over Yankees in seven
Series leverage: 31st
Game leverage: 80th
In Game 5, the hampered Mickey Mantle pinch ran in a 1-0 game. He was thrown out stealing.
53. 1931: Cardinals over A’s in seven
Series leverage: 60th
Game leverage: 94th
The same matchup as the previous season, but this time both teams had gotten better. Sleeper candidate for the best two-team matchup in history.
52. 1935: Tigers over Cubs in six
Series leverage: 47th
Game leverage: 25th
It’s a tiny detail in an exciting series, but for a long time I’ve been fascinated by the Cubs’ infield alignment for Goose Goslin’s walk-off hit, which ended the clinching Game 6. The first baseman is playing about 175 feet from home. The third baseman appears ready for a bunt.
51. 2019: Nationals over Astros in seven
Series leverage: 43rd
Game leverage: 87th
The games weren’t close until Game 7, and even by postseason standards they were uncomfortably long — six of the 13 slowest World Series games of the decade came in this series — and I clearly recall conversations in the middle of it about how boring the series had been, relatively speaking. But seven months later, with no meaningful game played since, I remember this one quite fondly! Remember Juan Soto and the Soto Shuffle? Alex Bregman trying to invent a new home run bat “flip” and getting mercilessly outcooled by Soto four innings later? Max Scherzer getting scratched from Game 5 and then being questionable for the rest of the series? And starting Game 7 anyway and gutting through five pretty good innings with pretty bad stuff? Kapan Trea Turner was called out for running to first base wrong and we all lost our minds? Adam Eaton and Howie Kendrickthis Drive the Car home run dance? Baby Shark? Getting to go outside and hang out at a bar and shake your friend’s hand and buy flour at the grocery store whenever you needed it? Kendrick hitting a perfect pitch off the right-field foul pole in Game 7, the 10th-biggest championship probability swing in major league history? Gerrit Cole not being used in Game 7 for some reason, then showing up to the postgame press conference in a Boras Corporation cap? How divinely just the outcome felt when we learned about the Astros’ banging scheme? We should have appreciated baseball more when we had it.
A bunch more the Yankees won
50. 1996: Yankees over Braves in six
Series leverage: 44th
Game leverage: 47th
The paradox of momentum, encapsulated: The Braves won the first two games — in New York — by a combined score of 16-1. They’d won their previous five postseason games by a total score of 48-2 and were heading back home to Atlanta. They never won another game, as the Yankees rapped off four straight. Does that thoroughly disprove the power of momentum, since no team had more of it than the Braves and it didn’t do them any good? Or does the Braves’ bipolarity prove the power of momentum — that they could be as great as they were, but once they lost momentum, completely hapless?
49. 1958: Yankees over Braves in seven
Series leverage: 26th
Game leverage: 59th
The Yankees came back from three games to one. In Games 6 and 7, New York — playing on the road — broke 2-2 ties late against exhausted Braves starting pitchers.
48. 1950: Yankees over Phillies in four
Series leverage: 69th
Game leverage: 4th
An incredible bit of trivia that would be familiar to every baseball fan alive in the 1950s is that, from the start of the 1949 Series until midway through the 1957 Series, every World Series game was won by a team in New York. The Giants and Dodgers get credit for 19 of those wins, but the Yankees took the other 28, in the greatest run any team ever had.
47. 1932: Yankees over Cubs in four
Series leverage: 108th
Game leverage: 72nd
Babe Ruth’s “called shot” wasn’t that big a deal at the time. It took a little while for Ruth to warm up to the legend and indulge in it. Now it’s the most famous moment from any of the first half-century of World Series, which is ironic in a way. Ruth was a celebrity with no filter, no nuance, no volume-down button, no moderation — and his greatest moment would turn out to be an ambiguous flick of his arm that he probably didn’t even mean.
46. 1928: Yankees over Cardinals in four
Series leverage: 114th
Game leverage: 101st
This is the second-least-close series in the pile, according to our leverage index, but when it’s the 1928 Yankees, the size of the thumping is the whole point. Babe Ruth hit .625/.647/1.375, with nine runs scored. Lou Gehrig hit .545/.706/1.727, with nine driven in. Forget seven-game series — could anything be more fun than watching Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth do that?
45. 1923: Yankees over Giants in six
Series leverage: 55th
Game leverage: 86th
From 1921 through 1923, it was the Giants and the Yankees every year, with the Giants winning the first two. Babe Ruth had been fine the first year and terrible the second, but he finally broke out this time: He hit .368/.556/1.000 with three homers. But his biggest moment came in Game 6, when he batted with the bases loaded, one out and his Yankees down by one. Ruth … struck out. Bob Meusel, batting behind him, was the hero instead, bringing all three runs home to all but end the series.
44. 1936: Yankees over Giants in six
Series leverage: 40th
Game leverage: 38th
Babe Ruth retired in 1935, and Joe DiMaggio debuted in 1936, so you might call this the start of the Yankees’ mid-century dynasty. Ruth’s best Yankees clubs were better than any of DiMaggio’s — and maybe better than any other team in history — but DiMaggio’s years were really the team’s golden age: He won nine rings in a 13-season career.
43. 2000: Yankees over Mets in five
Series leverage: 59th
Game leverage: 3rd
Game 1 was, by leverage index, the closest game in World Series history. It was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, then the Yankees scored two, the Mets bounced back with three, and the game went to the bottom of the ninth with the home team down one. Here’s where it went after that: The Yankees loaded the bases in the ninth and tied it; they loaded the bases with one out in the 10th but didn’t score; they put runners on second and third in the 11th but didn’t score; and they loaded the bases with one out in the 12th before finally pushing home the winning run with two outs.
Game 5 was the last time a starting pitcher was allowed to face the potential winning run in the ninth inning of a World Series. The pitcher was Al Leiter, making his 11th postseason start and still looking for his first win as a starter. He struck out the first two batters, and on a 2-2 count to Jorge Posada he had five shots at finishing off Posada and striking out the side. But Posada fouled three away, took a borderline fastball that had frozen him, and finally worked the walk. A broken-bat single and a trickler through the infield — with Leiter still on the mound — brought Posada racing home, and a strong, accurate throw that might have been in time for the out hit Posada’s thigh and bounded away. Leiter’s home stadium was boisterous with Yankees fans. He never did win a postseason start.
Pitching and defense
42. 1929: A’s over Cubs in five
Series leverage: 83rd
Game leverage: 52nd
Connie Mack’s secret plan was to take an old journeyman starter named Howard Ehmke, give him most of September off — so he could rest, and so he could scout, and because he was only the Athletics’ fifth or sixth starter anyway — and then spring him on the Cubs as the surprise starter in Game 1 of the World Series. And it worked! Ehmke struck out a record 13 batters, allowed only an unearned run and won.
41. 1955: Dodgers over Yankees in seven
Series leverage: 34th
Game leverage: 88th
Sandy Amoros’ running catch down the left-field line wasn’t nearly the physical performance that Willie Mays’ catch in the previous year’s World Series was. But Amoros’ catch was, by cWPA, about 20 times more consequential. It was the biggest play in the series, turning what would have been a game-tying double in Game 7 into an inning-ending double play.
40. 1954: Giants over Indians in four
Series leverage: 88th
Game leverage: 26th
On the other hand, plenty of outfielders might have made the Sandy Amoros catch. None who had ever lived could have made the one by Willie Mays.
39. 1915: Red Sox over Phillies in five
Series leverage: 51st
Game leverage: 15th
Game 1 was the only blowout: The Phillies won 3-1. Every other game was decided by one run.
38. 1995: Braves over Indians in six
Series leverage: 58th
Game leverage: 13th
The decade’s best offensive dynasty met the decade’s best pitching dynasty, and the pitching won: Aside from Alvaro Espinoza (1-for-2), no Cleveland hitter batted better than .235.
37. 1916: Red Sox over Robins in five
Series leverage: 75th
Game leverage: 29th
The ultimate Huge Band When They Were Still on an Indie Label show: the 21-year-old Boston pitcher Babe Ruth throwing a 14-inning complete-game victory in Game 2. He allowed a first-inning run on an inside-the-park homer, then threw the next 13 scorelessly.
36. 1969: Mets over Orioles in five
Series leverage: 73rd
Game leverage: 54th
“After a season of such length and so many surprises,” Roger Angell wrote, “reason suggested that we would now be given a flat and perhaps one-sided World Series. There would be honor enough for the Mets if they managed only to keep it close. None of this happened, of course, and the best news — the one true miracle — was not the Mets’ victory but the quality of those five games — an assemblage of brilliant parables illustrating every varied aspect of the beautiful game.” The Mets won the third game 5-0; Tommie Agee made two great catches — both, it can be admitted, a bit awkward — to save five runs.
35. 2005: White Sox over Astros in four
Series leverage: 56th
Game leverage: 1st
By our series leverage index — which measures how tight the World Series was — this ranks just 56th all time. But the games themselves were outrageously good. By our game leverage index, this was the tightest collection of World Series games ever. Every game was either tied or within one run in the eighth inning or later. Every White Sox starter went at least seven innings. Compare that to the seven-game series between the Cubs and Cleveland in 2016, in which no starting pitcher went seven. The White Sox’s 11-1 postseason record ended a World Series drought that was two years longer than the Red Sox’s had been.
34. 1981: Dodgers over Yankees in six
Series leverage: 46th
Game leverage: 50th
In the year of Fernandomania, the great rookie Fernando Valenzuela faced the great Yankees rookie Dave Righetti in Game 3. Righetti didn’t last long, but Valenzuela did. No matter how many batters he walked — seven, eventually — or pitches he threw (in the end, 147), he stayed on the mound to protect the one-run lead Los Angeles had taken in the fifth. In the eighth, he put the first two men on base, but manager Tommy Lasorda still left Valenzuela in, and the pitcher got a double play and a groundout to escape. In the bottom of the eighth, with a runner on and nobody out, Valenzuela batted for himself, grounding into a fielder’s choice. In the ninth, with the Yankees’ 2-3-4 hitters (all batting right-handed) due up, still the rookie held the mound. And he did it!
A week later, he turned 21.
33. 1968: Tigers over Cardinals in seven
Series leverage: 79th
Game leverage: 114th
In Games 1 and 4, Bob Gibson threw complete-game victories, striking out 27 while allowing one run. In Games 2 and 5, Mickey Lolich threw complete-game victories. In Game 7, one of them was going to become the 12th pitcher ever to win three World Series games. Lolich outdueled Gibson, and the Tigers won. (In the half-century since, only one pitcher has won three in a series: Randy Johnson, whose third win came in relief.)
32. 1965: Dodgers over Twins in seven
Series leverage: 57th
Game leverage: 113th
Remembered for two things. One is Sandy Koufax sitting out Game 1 for Yom Kippur, an incredible statement of the “it’s just a game” truth we all strive to keep in mind. The other is Koufax’s pitching in Games 2, 5 and 7: one earned run allowed in 24 innings, with 29 strikeouts and a shutout in the clinching Game 7.
The ones defined by huge moments
31. 1946: Cardinals over Red Sox in seven
Series leverage: 17th
Game leverage: 82nd
Enos Slaughter’s “Mad Dash” in popular telling: With the score tied in Game 7’s eighth inning, Slaughter — two outs, going on the pitch — scored from first on a single. Great story, except it was officially scored a double.
30. 2015: Royals over Mets in five
Series leverage: 64th
Game leverage: 14th
Before the series, the Royals’ advance team — scout Alex Zumwalt generally gets credited — revealed that Mets first baseman Lucas Duda had a poor throwing arm, and the Royals should run on it when they had the chance. The report “mentioned his sidearm throwing motion,” Andy McCullough wrote. “His volleys often tail away from the intended target.” Sure enough, in the ninth inning of Game 5, on a routine 5-3 groundout to third base, Eric Hosmer sprinted home and forced Duda to try to turn the 5-3 groundout into a 5-3-2 double play. The throw was wild, Hosmer tied the game with two outs, and the Royals would score five in extra innings to finish the series. What a satisfying story! The Royals identified the Mets’ smallest weakness, one so obscure and pointless it sounds like a joke: The first baseman’s throwing arm? How often do you notice the first baseman’s throwing arm? The catcher’s throwing arm, definitely. The left-fielder’s throwing arm, sure. But the first baseman’s throwing arm? OK, boys, let’s go out there today, stay loose, stay focused and find a way to exploit the first baseman’s throwing arm! And then the Royals did, in one of the biggest moments in baseball history. They found the opponent’s secret pressure point, and with a tiny flick of the finger, they killed the Mets.
29. 2014: Giants over Royals in seven
Series leverage: 24th
Game leverage: 96th
Alex Gordon singled, as the possible tying run, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7. The ball bounced past the Giants’ center fielder, the left fielder fumbled it at the wall, and it seemed Gordon might try to score, at which point there were three possibilities:
1. If Gordon held at third and Salvador Perez had driven him in, that sequence (single, error, single, tie game!) would have elevated an otherwise bland World Series — five of the first six games were decided by five runs or more — to a pretty good one. It would have ranked 66th on our list.
2. The actual event — Gordon held at third and Perez popped out — makes it a nearly great one. It turns Gordon’s decision to hold at third — his coach’s decision to hold him, and his decision to obey — into an all-time what-if. Yes, Gordon probably would have been beaten by the throw home. But it would have required a good relay and throw by the Giants’ shortstop, a clean catch at home and a tag, and the play would have been close enough to have been physical. The Royals were the team that, in that postseason and the next, aggressively pushed the other team’s defense until the other team’s defense made a mistake.
3. If Gordon had gone for home, meanwhile, then no matter what happened — safe or out — this World Series would be a classic. No matter what happened, that would have been one of the two or three best moments in modern baseball history. This Series would have ranked 16th on our list.
28. 1941: Yankees over Dodgers in five
Series leverage: 45th
Game leverage: 9th
With a one-run lead and two outs in the ninth inning, Dodgers pitcher Hugh Casey struck out Tommy Henrich swinging. But catcher Mickey Owen couldn’t catch it, Henrich reached, and the Yankees rallied for four runs. Owen was the Bill Buckner of his era, though the subsequent meltdown would in some ways more closely resemble the Cubs’ fumbles after the Steve Bartman play. “Those are good memories now,” Owen said in 1989. “I’ve gotten over it. It’s part of baseball history.”
27. 1993: Blue Jays over Phillies in six
Series leverage: 68th
Game leverage: 63rd
Joe Carter’s knee-knocking skip around the bases is one of the greatest visuals of a triumphant baseballer. But it’s Mitch Williams whose body language I most remember from that game. It’s 15 minutes of failure, all captured in Williams’ exaggerated physicality and the sheer inevitability of what was happening.
26. 1960: Pirates over Yankees in seven
Series leverage: 28th
Game leverage: 111th
If the Pirates had simply won Game 6, this World Series — marked by alternating Yankees blowouts and Pirates squeakers — would probably rank in the 90s or worse. But Game 7 is in contention for the greatest game in baseball history: A Yankees comeback in the sixth, a Pirates comeback in the eighth, a Yankees comeback in the ninth, and a series-ending walk-off homer by Bill Mazeroski. The inning before Maz ended things, Hal Smith hit a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth, turning a deficit into a lead. By cWPA, that’s the biggest hit in major league history. It’s hardly remembered, because the lead lasted barely 10 minutes. (One wonders whether Rajai Davis‘ homer off Aroldis Chapman in the 2016 World Series will suffer the same fate.)
25. 1988: Dodgers over A’s in five
Series leverage: 84th
Game leverage: 43rd
The Dodgers’ lineup in Game 4 had hit 36 homers in the regular season, six fewer than Jose Canseco alone had hit. Their cleanup hitter in that game, Mike Davis, had hit .196/.260/.270, and John Shelby was the only player in the lineup with an above-average OPS. Kirk Gibson was out, of course, but so was Mike Marshall, and they’d traded the slugger Pedro Guerrero midseason to get star pitcher John Tudor, who juga got injured during the World Series. Against the 104-win Athletics, the hobbled Dodgers were a true underdog, which was part of why that Gibson homer in Game 1 slapped so hard.
24. 1956: Yankees over Dodgers in seven
Series leverage: 37th
Game leverage: 81st
Vin Scully’s call as Don Larsen prepared to face the 27th batter of his perfect game: “I think it would be safe to say no man in the history of baseball has ever come up to home plate in a more dramatic moment.”
The great seven-gamers
23. 2017: Astros over Dodgers in seven
Series leverage: 17th
Game leverage: 8th
This is a hard one to place. At the time, it was an extraordinary series between probably the best pair of World Series teams in history. Six of the games were close, and arguably all seven were memorable: Clayton Kershaw throwing the best postseason start of his career in Game 1; Cody Bellinger hitting the walk-off that wasn’t in Game 2; Yu Darvish getting knocked out early in Game 3; Ken Giles melting down and losing the Houston closer’s job in Game 4; the five-hour, 13-12, extra-inning masterpiece of Game 5; Justin Verlander, cruising in what looks to be the signature start of his career, suddenly losing a sixth-inning lead in Game 6; and Charlie Morton as the four-inning closer in Game 7, making the Sports Illustrated cover come true. But after the Astros’ systematic cheating scheme was revealed, this whole series has a whiff of 1919 to it. We don’t really know what we saw, or who would have won if it had been played straight up. Instead, it produced a champion we all regret having felt happy for.
22. 2002: Angels over Giants in seven
Series leverage: 32nd
Game leverage: 78th
Only one World Series champion has had, at any point in the series, lower win expectancy than these Angels had late in Game 6.
21. 1964: Cardinals over Yankees in seven
Series leverage: 23rd
Game leverage: 46th
Parts of Mickey Mantle were as strong as ever; parts were washed up. Mantle was no longer a center fielder, but a right fielder whose arm the Cardinals had been running on aggressively. In Game 3, Mantle made an egregious error on a single, which set up the Cardinals’ only run in the game. The score was still 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, when Mantle led off with a walk-off home run.
20. 1971: Pirates over Orioles in seven
Series leverage: 15th
Game leverage: 56th
In Game 3, with his team down two games to none, Pirates star Roberto Clemente led off the seventh inning. He took a big swing and “half topped a pitch and sent an easy bouncer back to the mound,” Roger Angell wrote. “[Mike] Cuellar turned to make the leisurely toss and was astonished to discover Clemente running out the play at top speed. Now hurrying, Cuellar flipped the ball high, and Clemente was on.” A three-run inning followed, and the Pirates got back into the series. Clemente also had the big hit — a fourth-inning homer — in Game 7.
19. 1934: Cardinals over Tigers in seven
Series leverage: 20th
Game leverage: 51st
After a near-brawl involving Joe Medwick sliding into third base — and with the Cardinals running away with the Game 7 victory — the Detroit fans waited for Medwick to take his position in left field, then pelted him with fruits, vegetables and maybe some non-organic objects. Repeatedly, Medwick had to flee for safety, while various authorities pleaded for peace. An announcement threatened the game would be forfeited — setting up the potential for the only Game 7 walk-off forfeit in World Series history — but commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis found a more elegant solution: He ejected Medwick from the game.
18. 1973: A’s over Mets in seven
Series leverage: 19th
Game leverage: 27th
In Game 7, Oakland’s elite closer, Rollie Fingers, came into the sixth inning. He got out of the jam he had inherited, pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings, got two outs in the ninth and appeared to have the final one. But an error on his first baseman brought the tying run to the plate and Fingers’ manager came out to pull his closer from the game. He brought in his lefty specialist instead, and Darold Knowles got the final out of the game.
The straight-up classics
17. 1992: Blue Jays over Braves in six
Series leverage: 12th
Game leverage: 2nd
Sandwiched between a popular pick for the greatest Series ever and a popular pick for the best modern Series ending, this one gets overlooked. But the games were the second-closest ever, and Game 6 was the second-closest clinching game ever. Charlie Leibrandt, one of postseason baseball’s most misunderstood heroes, was on the mound for the conclusion of it: Brought into the game as a reliever, he threw a scoreless 10th, but his Braves couldn’t score in the bottom of that inning. The 11th turned out to be one inning too much for him, and he allowed the two runs that would decide the game. It was consistent with the rest of his postseason career, which included two blown leads in 1985 and the Game 6 walk-off homer in 1991: Asked to do a lot, he would pitch beautifully; asked to do still more, more perhaps than was reasonable, he would finally falter. He retired with a better postseason ERA than that of Jack Morris, but his career cWPA is the 14th worst in history.
16. 1980: Phillies over Royals in six
Series leverage: 29th
Game leverage: 11th
This one featured the greatest Game 5 ever. The Phillies came from behind with a two-run rally in the ninth inning, started by a Mike Schmidt infield single — enabled by George Brett playing in on the grass, anticipating that the 48-homer-hitting Schmidt might try to bunt for a hit — and finished by a Manny Trillo single off Dan Quisenberry’s glove. The Royals then loaded the bases on three Tug McGraw walks in the bottom of the ninth, before McGraw escaped and tilted the series in the Phillies’ favor. By average leverage index, this is the closest nine-inning game in World Series history.
15. 1962: Yankees over Giants in seven
Series leverage: 13th
Game leverage: 49th
What a different world it used to be. With a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth, with runners on second and third and the left-handed superstar Willie McCovey up — a hit would give the Giants the title, an out would give it to the Yankees — Casey Stengel left his right-handed starting pitcher in. Ralph Terry famously got the out he needed — a lineout to second base — and his cWPA in that World Series is, cumulatively, the highest ever: 0.994. Just about the whole thing.
14. 1972: A’s over Reds in seven
Series leverage: 8th
Game leverage: 7th
Aside from an 8-1 blowout in Game 6, the other six games were each decided by one run, and the clubs finished with identical batting averages and slugging percentages. The great Rollie Fingers pitched in all six close ones, his only “blemish” being the failure to preserve a one-run lead for a five-inning save.
13. 1979: Pirates over Orioles in seven
Series leverage: 21st
Game leverage: 33rd
When Eddie Murray batted in the eighth inning of Game 7, the championship leverage index in the moment was higher than for any other play in history. He flied to the edge of the warning track, and after a slightly awkward break, Dave Parker ran it down. Five more feet and it could have looked a lot like the ball Nelson Cruz misplayed, for which David Freese got a triple, in 2011.
12. 2016: Cubs over Indians in seven
Series leverage: 27th
Game leverage: 77th
Jason Heyward was the Cubs’ goat all season, and all postseason, until he became their hero with a motivational speech to his teammates during a late-Game 7 rain delay.
11. 1925: Pirates over Senators in seven
Series leverage: 7th
Game leverage: 12th
In Game 7, Walter Johnson threw a complete game; he allowed nine runs and took the loss. It’s hard to overstate how much the Senators were his team. In Game 4, Johnson hurt his leg trying for a hustle double. He kept pitching, in pain, to complete his shutout. Before Game 7, his manager, Bucky Harris, told reporters: “His leg still hurts. But gosh, he don’t pitch with his leg. All we need is that good right arm of his and he’s ready to give us that.” He was not.
10. 1926: Cardinals over Yankees in seven
Series leverage: 6th
Game leverage: 32nd
Babe Ruth getting caught stealing to end the World Series — as the tying run in a Game 7 — is the sport’s all-time Mighty Casey moment.
9. 1947: Yankees over Dodgers in seven
Series leverage: 14th
Game leverage: 28th
Jackie Robinson and Dan Bankhead desegregated the Fall Classic. (Bankhead, a pitcher, appeared as a pinch runner and scored.) In Game 4, the Yankees’ Bill Bevens nearly threw the first no-hitter in postseason history, allowing the first Dodgers hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. That hit, a two-run double, gave the Dodgers a walk-off victory. Bevens pitched effectively as a reliever in Game 7, then never appeared in the majors again.
8. 1912: Red Sox over Giants in eight (one tie)
Series leverage: 10th
Game leverage: 21st
The World Series that gave baseball’s glossaries “Snodgrass’ Muff.” With a one-run lead in the bottom of the 10th, Fred Snodgrass, the Giants’ center fielder, booted a fly ball that he was camped under. He followed that up with a running catch — some say spectacular catch — on the next play, but history doesn’t do averages. A walk, a single, an intentional walk and a sacrifice fly turned the Giants’ 2-1 lead into a 3-2 defeat. Until 1960, Tris Speaker’s game-tying single in that rally was the biggest play, by cWPA, in history.
7. 1952: Yankees over Dodgers in seven
Series leverage: 4th
Game leverage: 20th
The Dodgers had a rookie relief ace named Joe Black, who had spent the first eight seasons of his career in the Negro Leagues. When he finally emerged as a major leaguer, he was a sensation: He won Rookie of the Year, finished third in MVP voting and helped advance the notion of a relief ace. He finished 41 games for the Dodgers that year, but they unexpectedly decided he would start Game 1. He threw a complete game, winning 4-2; a miracle. He was effective in Game 4, but three starts in a week — no travel days between games — was too much for him. He was knocked out of Game 7 and the Yankees won the Series yet again.
6. 2001: Diamondbacks over Yankees in seven
Series leverage: 11th
Game leverage: 45th
This was the year of peak Yankee Destiny: The Yankees had won three World Series in a row, and with a handful of veterans due to retire or hit free agency, this was seen as the capstone year. It was the autumn of Jeter’s Flip, the autumn that the Yankees crushed the 116-win Mariners in the ALCS, the autumn of Jeter’s Mr. November home run, the autumn of anthrax attacks, the Afghanistan War, President George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch, and baseball fans who would typically despise the Yankees actually rooting for them in an ad hoc solidarity post-9/11. The Yankees’ three wins in the middle of the series included two minor miracles, with two-run homers in the ninth to tie the games and walk-offs in extra innings. They sent the seventh game of the World Series into the ninth inning with Mariano Rivera on the mound with a lead. Rivera had thrown 78 postseason innings to that point in his career, had a 0.70 postseason ERA and had converted 23 postseason saves in a row (many of them two innings). One of the great things about baseball is that there’s no scriptwriter, so you can’t impose a contrived narrative predictability on anything. If ever you could: This was it.
And then they lost, on Rivera’s throwing error and three broken-bat hits, on a walk-off flare that landed a foot beyond the infield over a drawn-in Derek Jeter. They’d been unable to get insurance runs off Randy Johnson, who pitched 1⅓ innings in relief the day after he’d thrown seven innings as a starter. The Yankees wouldn’t win another World Series for eight years, and after that one they haven’t won another since. They’ve won more regular-season games than any other team, so it’s not like they collapsed, but that broken-bat flare really was the end of that dynasty. In retrospect, it almost does look like a contrived narrative: an expectations-inverting, twist-ending fraught with portentous significance. The finale of a prestige drama. At the time, it felt impossible. Of course, it was just baseball.
Buster Olney wrote in his game story that night: “Most of the Yankees seemed at peace.”
5. 2011: Cardinals over Rangers in seven
Series leverage: 5th
Game leverage: 19th
I count seven major shifts of momentum in the final hour of Game 6. The ninth inning began with the Rangers leading 7-5, and closer Neftali Feliz struck out Ryan Theriot for the first out.
But Albert Pujols, in what appeared likely to be his final plate appearance as a Cardinal, doubled. Feliz lost his control: He walked Lance Berkman on four pitches, putting the tying run on, then fell behind 2-0 to Allen Craig, six consecutive balls after the Pujols hit.
But Feliz came back and struck out Craig looking, for the second out. He got ahead 1-2 on David Freese, the second strike swinging.
But Freese hit it deep to right field, over Nelson Cruz’s wobbly pursuit, and off the wall for a game-tying triple. He was the winning run on third base.
But in the bottom of the 10th, the Cardinals put the first two men on with singles, sacrificed them into scoring position, and on a groundout and a single tied the game again.
But with Cardinals on second and third — again, 90 feet from winning — Craig grounded out to end the 10th. Mike Napoli then singled in the top of the 11th, giving the Rangers a chance to go ahead again. The Rangers sent up Esteban German to pinch hit for Scott Feldman — an aggressive move that cost them Feldman, their best available pitcher.
But German grounded out and ended the threat. The game went to the bottom of the 11th: Mark Lowe entered and threw a 3-2 changeup — his fourth-best pitch, one he rarely threw to righties and never threw to righties in full counts. Freese was on it.
Seven terrifying shifts over the course of just 11 outs. To understand how epic and disorienting it all was, consider this moment: In the bottom of the 10th inning, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa pinch hit for his pitcher with a pitcher — and then pinch hit for the pinch-hitting pitcher with a berbeda pitcher. Meanwhile, television broadcaster Joe Buck was suggesting La Russa might consider pinch hitting with a still different pitcher, before realizing that that pitcher had actually started the game “hours ago.”
4. 1986: Mets over Red Sox in seven
Series leverage: 18th
Game leverage: 61st
One of the measures we considered was “comeback percentage,” the lowest likelihood of winning that the eventual winner reached over the course of the series. We noted that the Angels’ win in 2002 had the second-highest comeback percentage, as the Angels traveled from just 1.7% likely to win to their victory parade. The ’86 Series had the greatest comeback percentage in World Series history, with the Mets just 0.8% likely to win at their lowest point. But that’s not actually even close to how unlikely they really were to win. That comeback percentage only measures the team’s chances before each play and after each play. It doesn’t measure the odds in the middle of the play, and it was in the middle of a play that this one turned.
At the start of the 10th inning of Game 6, the Mets — trailing by two runs, down three games to two — had a 5% chance of winning the World Series. After two quick outs, they were down to 1%. That’s where our comeback percentage pegs their low point. It climbed to 2% with Gary Carter’s rally-starting single, to 5% when Kevin Mitchell singled as the potential tying run, and 11% when Ray Knight singled as the potential go-ahead run. When Bob Stanley uncorked a wild pitch to put Knight in scoring position, the Mets were at 35% to win the World Series: They just needed a single (or something) and a win in Game 7.
But then Mookie Wilson grounded toward Bill Buckner. What were the chances they’d win the World Series when Wilson hit his “little roller up along first”? When it crossed first base fair? When Buckner positioned himself in front of it, facing it directly, both hands out? The odds Buckner botches that play are maybe 1 in a few hundred. The odds it goes right through him — rather than bouncing off his glove and staying in front of him, which would have kept Knight at third — are maybe 1 in 1,000. First basemen convert outs on about 93% of the balls they field — or attempt to field — but that includes sharp grounders, popups in the sun, line drives and so on. Few plays are simpler than this one. I could believe that the chances of the Mets winning Game 6 and Game 7, in the middle of this play, might have dropped to 1 in 5,000.
Game 7 was a great game too! Bill Buckner had a couple of hits.
3. 1924: Senators over Giants in seven
Series leverage: 1st
Game leverage: 5th
I would consider saying this about as many as five games, but I think Game 7 of this World Series is really it: the best game in baseball history. By average leverage index, it’s the fourth-best game, and it’s the only one of the top 10 that was a Game 7. For that matter, it’s the only one of the top 10 that was even a clincher. It started with subterfuge — the Giants started right-hander Curly Ogden as a decoy, had him face two batters, then pulled him for lefty George Mogridge — and ended with a walk-off, and the sequence from the eighth inning on goes:
Senators score two in the bottom of the eighth to tie it;
Giants get a one-out triple in the top of the ninth, can’t get him home;
Senators put runners at the corners with one out in the bottom of the ninth, can’t score;
Giants strand a leadoff walk in the top of the 10th;
Giants strand two in the top of the 11th;
Senators strand two in the bottom of the 11th;
Giants strand leadoff single in the top of the 12th — with Walter Johnson pitching his fourth inning of emergency relief;
Senators score after two errors in the bottom of the 12th.
The footage somehow still exists, and it’s as clear as any baseball footage you’ll ever see from that far back.
2. 1991: Twins over Braves in seven
Series leverage: 3rd
Game leverage: 6th
Tom Kelly wanted to pull Jack Morris before the 10th inning of Game 7. Morris wanted to stay in. Kelly consulted the pitching coach, who said Morris might as well keep going. “OK,” Kelly said. “It’s just a game.”
1. 1975: Reds over Red Sox in seven
Series leverage: 1st
Game leverage: 5th
The story goes that the iconic shot of Carlton Fisk waving his Game 6 home run to stay fair was an accident. The cameraman, Louis Gerard, was supposed to follow the ball. But he told his producer he couldn’t, that there was “a rat on my leg that’s as big as a cat. It’s staring me in the face.” So he just kept the camera on Fisk, a shot out of character with broadcasts of the time but one that turned out to be revolutionary. “Before Game 6, there was no such thing as a reaction shot,” the Boston Globe reported. “Cameramen followed the action, focusing on the trajectory of a hit ball or a thrown pass or a shot. Forever after, there would be the isolation shot, looking for the reaction of the athlete to what happened.”
In that way, the 1975 World Series made every World Series that followed better. Buckner, Carter, Gibson, Bumgarner, Mo, Papi, all the way to Howie Kendrick: The biggest moments now immerse us in them, overpower us with the emotions of them. Fisk’s home run raised everything that followed. But still, nothing that followed could top it.